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Postdoctoral Fellows

Applications for the 2024-2026 C-CoMP Postdoctoral Fellowships are now closed.

C-CoMP Postdoctoral Fellowships


Program Details

The NSF Science and Technology Center for Chemical Currencies of a Microbial Planet (C-CoMP) invites applications for 2-year postdoctoral fellowships that will significantly advance the Center’s goal of promoting a deeper understanding and appreciation of the chemical and microbial processes that govern the surface ocean carbon cycle. C-CoMP’s research agenda includes experimental approaches, systems-based modeling from cellular to global scales, and data mining and integration strategies. Example research areas are described in the FAQs below.

C-CoMP Postdoctoral Fellows are appointed as a cohort and are expected to participate in the Center activities that build and sustain the community. Fellows are expected to join at least one Center working group aligned with their research interests, attend monthly virtual All-Center Meetings, participate in Center-wide professional development activities, and present their research at the C-CoMP Annual Meeting. Fellows are also expected to participate in C-CoMP education and outreach activities.

Up to two postdoctoral fellowships will be awarded in 2024. Applicants must be a US citizen or permanent resident at the time of application; have a Ph.D. in oceanography, the physical, chemical, or biological sciences, or a related field; and have a commitment to working across disciplines. Research plans should focus on surface ocean ecosystems in the fields of microbial ecology, marine chemistry, modeling at any level from cellular to global, or data science. Each applicant must identify a mentor at a U.S. institution; mentors can be C-CoMP PIs, but this is not a requirement.

Postdoctoral support will be awarded directly to the Fellow and can be used at any U.S. institution. Funds must be spent within two years of the start date, which must be on or before September 30, 2024. Fellowships will cover salary ($65,000 per year), personal allowance ($10,000 per year), and supplies ($10,000 per year). Salary and personal allowance payments are made directly to the Fellow as an electronic funds transfer into a personal account at a U.S. financial institution. The application submission deadline is May 1, 2024

Application Materials

  • Cover Page
  • Research Plan: Up to 3 pages, including references and figures
  • Education Statement: One-page description of your anticipated contributions to C-CoMP education or outreach activities. Example contributions are described briefly in the FAQs.
  • Perspective Statement: One-page description of the unique perspectives, interests, and experiences you bring to ocean science research  and your anticipated contributions to C-CoMP’s goals for broadening participation in the ocean sciences. Guidelines for preparing this statement are described briefly in the FAQs.
  • C.V.
  • Mentor Commitment Letter: One-page letter of commitment from proposed mentor indicating willingness to provide office space, laboratory space (if needed), and scientific and professional mentoring. The commitment letter must also acknowledge participation by the Fellow in C-CoMP meetings and outreach/education activities.
  • References: Please arrange for three letters of reference to be sent directly to with the subject line PD2024_ref_your last name.
  • Voluntary Self-Identification Data Sheet: We collect this demographic information for statistical reporting purposes only. Applicant responses are made anonymous before reporting.

Application materials should be combined into a single pdf file and emailed to with the subject line PD2024_your last name. Visit the FAQs section for additional information. The application submission deadline is May 1, 2024. Fellows will be notified of their appointments in June, 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is eligible?

To be eligible you must be a U.S. citizen (or national) or a U.S. permanent resident at the time of application. Fellowships will be awarded to early-career scientists receiving a Ph.D. after October 1, 2021 and prior to September 30, 2024. Funds will be provided directly to the Fellow, and can be used at any US academic or research institution. Fellows must have a sponsoring faculty member at the institution who will provide space, necessary instruments and supplies (if the $10K annual supply allowance is insufficient for the proposed work), and mentorship. Applicants are encouraged to work with their sponsor to develop the fellowship proposal.

2. How long is the fellowship?

Funding is provided for a 2-year period that must begin on or before September 30, 2024. 

3. What areas of research will be funded?

C-CoMP Postdoctoral Fellowships support research that advances the understanding of the metabolite-microbe network of the surface ocean. Proposals can emphasize biological, chemical, informatic, or modeling approaches, or combinations of these. Example areas include microbial synthesis or transformation of labile organic carbon; metabolite identification; ecological or biogeochemical roles of bioreactive molecules; informatic approaches to microbial-metabolite interactions; and modeling carbon flux at the cellular to global scales. Proposals are not limited to these example areas.

4. What are some guidelines for writing the education statement?

C-CoMP is committed to fully integrating science and education activities. The Center has a variety of developing and ongoing programs and initiatives Postdoctoral Fellows can choose to join. Your education statement should indicate an activity of interest to  you and include a description of your intended  contribution. Statements can emphasize, for example, participation in education research activities, Course-based Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) development, curriculum development related to C-CoMP research, or science communication. Activities are not limited to these example areas.

5. What are some guidelines for writing the perspective statement?

C-CoMP is committed to promoting and amplifying a diversity of expertise, experiences, and viewpoints in ocean science research to bring about a deeper understanding and appreciation of the chemical and microbial processes that govern ocean ecosystems. We work to provide early career researchers from diverse backgrounds and with diverse experiences and perspectives opportunities to advance their professional skills and networks in support of their career pursuits. Your perspective statement should describe the unique experiences and/or perspectives you will bring to the Center and your postdoctoral work, and how the way you see yourself shapes or impacts your research and your career goals. How might you draw on your past experiences and activities to move yourself and the Center forward?

6. How does the application process work?

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of C-CoMP scientists including chemical, biological, and/or informatics/modeling expertise. Panel review will begin after May 1, 2024. Fellows will be notified of their appointments in June, 2024.

7. What happens if I am selected?

C-CoMP funding will be provided directly to fellows through a process administered by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. As part of the process of accepting the fellowship, Fellows will need to provide documentation from the host institution that the terms and conditions of the fellowship are acceptable and that the Fellow will be provided adequate mentoring, space, basic services, needed resources, and supplies.

8. How can the personal allowance funds be used? 

The fellowship includes a personal allowance of $10,000 per year. This allowance is intended to cover health insurance and other health and welfare expenses. Allowable costs include individual or family health insurance (any combination of medical, vision, and/or dental) whether purchased as a group or individual plan, disability insurance, retirement savings, and/or dependent care expenses. The Fellow should keep records to document expenditures.

9. Are there provisions for paid parental or family leave?

Within the fellowship period, one month per year of fellowship duration may be used for paid leave, including parental or family leave. The paid leave cannot be used to increase the duration of the fellowship.

10. How can the supplies funds be used? 

The fellowship includes a research allowance of $10,000 per year. This allowance is intended to cover research- and training-related costs. Allowable research and training costs include travel, such as short-term visits to other institutions or laboratories, fieldwork, and attendance at scientific meetings, training, special equipment, IT equipment and software, supplies, publication costs, access fees for databases, and other research-related expenses. The Fellow should keep records to document expenditures. Funds will be reimbursed to the Fellow.

11. What are the additional benefits of being a C-CoMP Postdoctoral fellow?

The Fellows will engage actively with the broader C-CoMP community and will have access to Center funds to support laboratory exchange opportunities, travel to Center meetings, and open access publications.

12. Can I apply for a C-CoMP Postdoctoral fellow to stay in the lab where I am currently a Ph.D student?

We strongly encourage applicants to identify a mentor and lab that is different from where they obtained their Ph.D. However, applicants already in a postdoctoral position may propose a research project with their current mentor.

12. Who is available to answer questions regarding my application?

For issues with application submission or access to application materials or questions regarding the education statement or perspective statement, contact Victoria Centurino (